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Considering ABA, but what else is available?

(12 Posts)
HiawathaDidntBotherTooMuch Sun 12-Jul-15 16:48:40

DS2 is 3.4yo, and has no language. He can make a few consonant sounds and a few vowel sounds, but cannot put them together to form words. He points a lot, and has free access to anything he might want eg food, drinks, toys etc, so just gets whatever he needs. He has been having private salt for 9 months, but it hasn't developed his language. It has however helped his concentration and eye contact.

He has many ASD traits and stims, and has been referred for an assessment. He knows his numbers, some letters and and can build wooden train tracks. He has no mobility issues. He has an incredibly limited range of foods that he will accept so we give him supplements.

I am certain that he has ASD. He attends pre school two mornings a week with a one to one Support worker, and that is now working well.
He has been attending a state run salt group for the last12 weeks once a week, but that will finish next week.

We are now considering doing 25 hours or so ABA at home every week. Nothing else we have tried (salt, structured play) has produced results, and we want to do all we can go help him. We just don't know what else to try. We are very fortunate in that we can fund this.

But is there an alternative, or nanny thing else we could do alongside? We have already introduced a GF and CF diet under the supervision of a dietician.

sammythemummy Sun 12-Jul-15 17:31:28


We did ABA and it worked really well for my dd1 but she was pre-verbal even before the programme (severely delayed though!).

I would introduce Makaton or PECS (under your consultant). I have, and still use Makaton signing with my dd2 who is 20 months, she seems NT but I want to cover all my bases just in case!

She knew her signs for thank you, please, open, sleeping first which I believe it really helped her with her frustration, she now uses the sign alongside the words smile


HiawathaDidntBotherTooMuch Sun 12-Jul-15 17:35:16

Thank you.

I've been signing with him since birth. He hasn't shown any interest in adopting it as a form of communication. He will sometimes sign friends or more, and sometimes waves, but he isn't interested in doing anything more.

I have taken tones of photos and laminated them to do PECS as part of the ABA programme, as that is something we are going to introduce early on.

I'm delighted that your daughter has made progress smile

PoppyAmex Mon 13-Jul-15 20:03:54

Sounds like you're on the tight track, but please allow a novice to chip in with a piece of advice...

We always thought we'd use Montessori practices with our children and set up a playroom and their rooms to promote independence.

DD (3.4) has ASD and is still severely speech delayed, just started talking after 6 months of Early Start Denver Model / Pivotal Response Training with RGO and we now realise that allowing her access to everything she might need wasn't a great strategy grin

We prompt for a vocalisation every time she wants something so the name of the game has been to tap into every motivation and use it to make her speak.

Anyway, not sure this is compatible with classic ABA, but just a thought... take his stuff away and make him interact! grin

AngelicaM Mon 13-Jul-15 20:25:52

We've just started ABA a week ago, my DS sounds very similar to yours, our Paed, who said she thought ABA was DS's best chance, said you should see results quite quickly so it's easier to decide if it's right for you. I figure, other than time and money (which I don't have much of!) what's to lose? he seems to be having a perfectly nice time during sessions, it'd be far worse to not try, if you see what I mean?! My DS has also not got anywhere with Makaton, our ABA Consultant said that was because he doesn't have any joint attention so at present communication just doesn't make sense to him. Not sure if that helps, but I know how hard it is to make the right choices so good luck x

HiawathaDidntBotherTooMuch Mon 13-Jul-15 20:43:35

Poppy, What you say is really interesting. We have a very full playroom too. We have an older DS, and have accumulated lots of toys and games and books and whatnot over the years. I always thought the point of having a playroom was to be able to store all the toys.

The first thing DS2's salt said when she came round was to get rid of nearly everything that was in there, and to alternate toys every two weeks or so. It would improve his concentration, attention span and interaction, she said. And it has. We put away favoured toys (trains and anything electronic that made a noise) and DS2 did interact more.

But it hasn't led to big changes.

HiawathaDidntBotherTooMuch Mon 13-Jul-15 20:46:19

Angelica,Thanks for sharing your experience of ABA. Interestingly, DS2 doesn't have much by way of joint attention skills either. He gets frustrated when we don't 'play' on his terms and will not wait for me to have a turn or share really. His eye contact has improved so that helps a lot with cause and effect games.

I am hopeful for ABA but also a bit anxious. I just don't know where we will go from here if ABA doesn't help him.

AngelicaM Mon 13-Jul-15 21:26:17

We have hardly done anything yet, i.e 12 hours with me and another untrained tutor (our main experienced tutor starts in two weeks) and whilst I'm very wary of getting my hopes up I am sure there's already been a small improvement in his general alertness. I have found starting the programme weirdly draining and emotional (and I'm no softy) but I think, as you say, it has a lot to do with wondering what we'll do if it doesn't work x

PandasRock Tue 14-Jul-15 22:37:10

I am a long way down the road from you.

My dd is 11. She was diagnosed at 2, with severe autism and learning difficulties. The future looked bleak (according to her paeds).

We started ABA when she was 3. Only 12 (ish) hours a week. But we saw almost immediate gains. Dd1 was verbal before we started ABA, but had no functional language - she could sing a wide range of songs, and recite stories, but not use her words for anything else. She had absolutely no playskills at all.

By the time she was nearly 6, we had fought and won for ABA to be on her statement, and she went to an ABA school. A little over a year later, she changed to a different ABA school. She is still at that school now, and will transition into secondary there in September.

She has come so far. We are astonished by her progress, and so proud. She works hard, all the time, and is amazing. She can read (to about yr2 mainstream level) and write (her writing is neater than mine grin) as well as type. She still has learning difficulties, obviously, but she is doing so well.

It isn't all a bed of roses - she has huge anxiety issues, and still needs ABA and errorless learning.

But there is so much to be blown away by. It is a long road, and definitely a marathon not a sprint. But it is an amazing journey.

HiawathaDidntBotherTooMuch Tue 14-Jul-15 22:50:53

Oh wow Pandas. Your DD sounds amazing. You've given me so much hope. I'm feeling positive about starting ABA as, to be honest, nothing else has really made much impact for DS2. But to think that those outcomes could be even a possibility is beyond what I have allowed myself to hope for.

He is going to be doing 24 hours ABA a week at home and 6 hours of mainstream pre school with a one to one worker who is also one if his ABA tutors. We start in a few weeks' time.

DS2 is non verbal and hasn't latched onto any of the communications we have tried to teach him eg signing, pecs. But he does point. If ABA teaches him a way of communicating, even if it is not spoken language, I will be so so pleased.

PandasRock Tue 14-Jul-15 23:02:28

Pointing is good! In fact, pointing is brilliant! Dd1 didn't get pointing (or sharing any info, tbh) for ages. She still struggles with it now.

Attached (hopefully) is the first bit of truly independent typing dd1 did. I suggested she do a diary of her day to share with school (she had been doing one sentence diaries from school to home for a while) because I needed one minutes peace in a difficult day. She sat down and produced this. I (and everyone at her school) was completely blown away.

Hope is a difficult thing. We all want to hope for the absolute best, but at the same time don't want to hope for things out of reach. Dd1 has far exceeded even what I did not dare hope. Good luck - it isn't always a smooth ride, but it is definitely an interesting one! grin

ArtichokeHeartsAppleCarts Tue 14-Jul-15 23:43:56

Hi Hiawatha
Diet wise do you give probiotics as well as being gfcf?
We have found probiotics really helpful alongside gfcf diet

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